Oregon Horse Rescue began in 2012, when Jane and David Kelly answered an ad on Craigslist about a Percheron named Katie Sue. They knew that without their intervention there was a good chance the malnourished mare would be purchased by a kill buyer, and they simply couldn’t let that happen.
When Jane contacted Katie Sue’s owner, she immediately received more than she had bargained for. Along with Katie Sue, the owner surrendered three other horses. Still one month away from closing on the property that would eventually become OHR, Jane and David knew they couldn’t leave anyone behind and arranged for boarding. Soon after, Katie Sue and her three friends became the first residents to enjoy their new, beautiful 70-acre home. This act of kindness has now grown into an organization that has helped over 100 at-risk horses.
The mission of OHR is straight forward. To provide a safe and supportive home for horses and other animals that have been neglected, abandoned, or otherwise mistreated. “We rehabilitate horses to the best health possible, and selectively place some rehabilitated horses in new homes that can provide a safe, supportive forever home,” says Jane and David.
This mission functions successfully thanks to their five tier approach: adoption, sanctuary, foster, volunteer and education. Each part of the plan covers an area where there is a need that can be met.
OHR is not breed specific and takes in all abandoned, neglected, abused and disabled horses. They do specialize in horses with vision impairment. Rehabilitation at OHR takes place with the staff working in tandem with a veterinary profession to ensure each horse receives the medial and nutritional care to provide the best possible outcome. “Each horse is an individual and is treated as such,” explains Jane.
Retraining of the horses is geared towards each horse’s individual skill set. “We follow the ASPCA’s best practice guidelines for evaluation of in-hand skills and provide support, miles or exposure to horses lacking in skills in particular areas, with positive reinforcement practices.”
OHR also believes that it is important to focus on the human aspect of their work as well. “It’s no secret that there’s an industry-wide lack of resources surrounding adoption and care of non-typical horses. At OHR, we want to change that,” says Jane and David.
The OHR website provides educational resources to teach about first-time horse ownership, equine nutrition and dentistry, general and medical care, and the issue of equine neglect and abuse “We aim to educate the public about the problem of mistreated horses and inform them about solutions.”
OHR welcomes volunteers of all experience levels and believes that everyone can benefit from time spent with these animals. As one volunteer said, “Broken people can be a great asset for broken animals.” This idea is one that OHR wholeheartedly agrees with. As Jane says, “we encourage people who have gone through hardships to come out and spend time with the horses. There is healing in what we do, both for the horses in need and for the people.”
Use the information below to learn more about the amazing work done at OHR.
Oregon Equine Rescue
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: